Inside: Style tip: How to wear a fanny pack and tips for a perfect outfit with a fanny pack.

Fanny packs, like everything else we’re wearing right now, were a huge trend in the 90’s and went out and were filed away into “dad fashion” quicker than we could blink. But if you haven’t noticed, they’ve made quite the comeback in the last few years and we’re just trying to figure out how to incorporate them back into our fashion while we rediscover old trends and make them new again.

However, something interesting about the comeback is that they’re not worn around the waist like a classic fanny pack normally is. Right now we refer to them a lot as “belt bags” or “sling bags” or “cross body bags.” There are so many random and different options, it can be hard to narrow it down.

But I’m going to give you some style tips so you know how to move forward with piecing a belt bag or fanny pack with your other full outfits, and if you haven’t picked out your favorite yet, maybe this will help you decide the best belt bag style for you.

A woman in a super chic outfit with a designer belt bag

If you need some style tips, then these are for you! Jump back on the fanny pack train all over again and learn how to style it in 2023.

Different Bags

The first place to start when trying to style your belt bag or fanny pack is to pick a bag.

Obviously it came back with the typical nylon fabrication of a standard fanny pack, but as the trend started to grow again, we got new leather styles, canvas styles, and anything else that you can think of that has created a little bit more of a fashion staple out of the bag. We’re seeing some of these crossbody and sling bag styles going into more of a fashion bag route, with a leather outer with a metallic stamped logo.

What kind of outfits do you plan to wear your fanny pack with? Something a little nicer or something more athletic? Street style or girly? There are a ton of options, and you can mix and match. You can wear the athletic one with a cute outfit to dress it down and make it a little more street styled, but overall, deciding the style of bag you prefer will help you figure out how to style it down the line.

So deciding between some of these different styles and options out there on the market is going to help you figure out which way to go.

Two different kinds of fanny packs

Different Styles

We’ve touched on this a little bit talking about the different styles of bags, but there are different aesthetics that come out when you style these bags a little differently.

The two most common styles that you’re going to see fanny packs in are athletic and street.

Athletic style is the most obvious one to bring in a fanny pack. I know when I throw on my workout leggings and a crop top to go run to the mall, the bag I reach for isn’t my favorite Marc Jacobs handbag, it’s my baby pink Lululemon belt bag that comes with me. It’s so convenient to have my hands free while doing something active and involved like shopping and running errands, it’s perfect with any casual outfit.

If I’m a little bit dressed up, there’s also the desire for a belt bag for this too, though. Especially going bar hopping with friends, I want to know if my bag is safely strapped across my body, but I don’t always want a full crossbody purse, nor do I want a nylon athletic bag. So the little leather body bag that you can grab from just about anywhere is also a perfect addition to the bag collection. This is for more of a cool girl street style aesthetic, where I’m wearing maybe a silk mini skirt and a casual top like a ribbed tank top. Or even a pair of cool cargo pants with a baby tee shirt.

Whatever you’re wearing, aside from anything formal or cocktail attire is likely about to look so fire with a fanny pack or belt bag.

A girl sitting in Soho in cool plaid pants with a belt bag

Styling Details

Now time for some styling tips. As usual, a classic styling tip is very case by case, depending on the outfit, the bag, the location… But here are some of the elements that you should look for when looking to add a fanny pack to your outfit and how to make it look cool. This is definitely a trend that you can play around with and find some answers in trial and error. So have fun with it and keep these tips in mind.

Size of your top: The top you wear matters. If you wear something a little looser, it can potentially look a little funky when you strap the fanny pack on your body. If the strap can loosen to the same fit of the shirt, it might be a better look than cinching the shirt with the bag. This obviously only works when worn as a cross body instead of a fanny pack, but it gives a more polished look when it’s not affecting the shirt so much.

Different directions: Are you wearing it like a crossbody or a fanny pack? If I can tell you anything, in 2023 we’re all about crossbodies! If you can avoid it, I wouldn’t choose to wear the belt bag like a fanny pack, but rather strap it across your body like a seat belt.

Aesthetic choice: This is simply a reiteration of the previous sections, but as you go and pair your belt bags with your outfits, make sure the aesthetic and styles are coordinating well. It’s a phenomenal look when the crossbody really matches the vibe of the whole outfit, rather than looking like an add on. These few tips really make the different when it comes to wearing a fanny pack.

Girl wearing a graphic tee with a belt bag across her chest

Bringing back 90’s trends in 2023 is a new thing for all of us, and we’re all just trying to stay cool. Of course you can style anything like how we did back in the day, but as we try to be more fashion forward, we should realistically understand that the fashion world is changing and it’s going to keep changing. So moving forward and trying new ideas and styles is the best way to stay afloat. Don’t get caught up in how we’ve always styled pieces or how you yourself have always styled things.

Don’t be scared to try something new! Or even bringing back something old and making it new again. Talk about recycling.

Pull your dad’s old fanny pack from the closet or run to Lululemon for a new and trendy one. But either way, get your hands on the new casual “it” bag.

Those of us that grew up in the time that these were on the rise, we’re going to have some work to do before we really appreciate the trend for what it is. But I’m ready to rock these bags this summer!

If you want something similar but with a little wider variety in the styles, try these sling bag outfit ideas.

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